What is Mardi Gras?

So, being a Brit, I had no idea what Mardi Gras was until a few weeks ago…still not even sure if I’m spelling it right! Never heard of it, never seen a king cake and it has never even passed my mind to look for a small baby drowned in a cake! I mean, I understand it and all; its supposed to symbolise Jesus…but if you love him…why would you cook him? According to the surprisingly simplistic answer that Google gave me it is ‘a carnival held in some countries on Shrove Tuesday’.  Fair enough!! Thank you Google, for once you did not refer me to a four page explanation of the history of it. Appreciated! To me, Shrove Tuesday is pancake day, and shall forever remain…pancake day. I see the similarities, a day where it is acceptable to throw health out the window, and an excuse to replace a nutritional meal with a dessert. For those of us who aren’t religious (like me), its all about the FOOD.

Now, I have actually had the privilege of trying a king cake, despite not realising that it was attached to a certain time of the year (Google says Feb 28-Mar 4 this year?). Haha, I love that, I went back to check Google for the dates and spotted one website that had named it ‘Fat Tuesday’….well I guess we might as well embrace the facts!! But back to the king cake; my friend Rachel lived in Louisiana and had her favourite bakery send us their finest king cake. It took about 3 weeks to arrive, but it was well worth the wait. I unfortunately did not find the baby, it was in fact in my roommates piece, and now sits proudly by her bedside. She has many the picture with it in her mouth…don’t ask why!

This was a few weeks ago so I completely forgot about the whole occasion until I was at the gym this morning, breathing laboriously on the elliptical machine. Lined in front of me were 5 televisions, but only the one was catching my eye, admittedly because it had the brighter colours! I was watching away, chuckling stupidly as jokes were being made, despite my inability to hear them. When suddenly, out came a long line of king cakes, ready for some sort of competition. Actually I lie a little, I didn’t initially realise they were king cakes until the competition began and they were rummaging through these poor cakes. It took me a while to realise that they were looking for these plastic babies and THAT’S when my mind clicked! Did I forget to mention I’m a little slow? The competition was won by whoever found the most babies in…I dunno…maybe a minute? Anyway, that’s besides the point, it reminded me of Mardi Gras, and above that, the fact that it is today! So happy Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday to all you people out there! I hope your day is full of cakes or pancakes and that you can spend one day fearing less about your weight. Come on…the Lord himself says its okay!



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